1955 National ambulance

Mark Jordan

PCS Member
Saw this today. https://www.ebay.com/itm/1955-Ford-...680775?hash=item4b8f79f187:g:KwcAAOSwo1FgVRNC
Looks to be in decent shape and is 1 of 261 non Cadillacs built that year.

I honestly can't believe I'm considering selling this, it's been more fun than any other car I've ever owned (and I've had some cool stuff). It's impossible not to have a giant grin when tooling through traffic in this thing. Definitely not a ride for the introverted. Not a project or a garage queen, it's a dead reliable daily driver.

1955 Ford Courier (sedan delivery), shipped new from the factory to National Body Mfg. for ambulance conversion and eventual delivery to St. Maries, Idaho. National Body installed their own custom interior, side windows and air extractors, safety equipment, etc. Standard wheelbase 2-dr ambulance conversions like this are quite rare. It's a very cool old wagon.

272 Y-block V8, standard Borg Warner 3sp, factory Dana 44 rear, front passenger seat swivels to face rear, rear jump seat folds flat into deck, much under floor storage. Federal Signal Propello-Ray siren works, original 2-way radio included. Completely unmolested, fantastic patina inside and out, there's not a thing I'd change cosmetically. At some point a PO had rubbed out the St. Maries markings on the driver's side, and I did have this recreated to match the other side. This has been my daily driver for several years now with zero issues or quirks, dead reliable, runs and drives as it should. New driver's front and passenger's rear floors, exhaust, battery, starter, heater core and seals, freshly rebuilt carb, brakes and soft lines, master cylinder, tires, hoses, etc., etc., all as you'd expect for a reliable driver, along with the usual big stash of extra/new parts. Frame is solid with no rust, doglegs are solid and rust-free. Title in hand.

Previous owner swore 55k miles showing was correct, and given the condition and the way it drives I have no reason to doubt he was correct. Car apparently sat indoors from shortly after St. Maries retired it in 1991 until early 2019, shortly before I acquired it. Service records back into the 1960s, interesting history. Sedan deliveries rather than regular station wagons were used for these conversions in order to get the side-open door, and the coachbuilder installed side windows are very different than those Ford shipped in their 2-dr Ranch Wagons. Ford-based conversions like this are exceedingly rare in any case- it's not unlikely that this is one-of-a-kind.

Station wagon, Country Sedan, Ranch Wagon, Country Squire, sedan delivery.

On Mar-20-21 at 15:43:31 PDT, seller added the following information:

Edit- a gentleman on a bicycle lost his balance while I was parked downtown and cracked the passenger's rear window, one with the sandblasted cross artwork. It's tight and doesn't appear to be going anywhere, but it is significantly cracked. I have quotes from a local auto glass shop to cut and install a custom replacement, a local trophy shop to cut a sandblast stencil to recreate the existing artwork, and a sandblasting shop who has experience working with this particular trophy shop who will do the sandblasting. The total tab for a new window to match the artwork on the existing window is just under $500, or you can just chalk it up to increased patina.

Chris Bruno

PCS Member
It's back for sale for $300 more than the last eBay auction final price. I posted it in the Craigslist Forum before realizing that this 1955 National was the same as the 1955 Ford I was looking at. I have not called to verify the rig is still available, though he posted ten days ago.

Paul Steinberg

Staff member
Super Site Supporter
Three rounds of eBay auctions...

1) $8100 ... 31 bids
2) $8500 ... 19 bids
3) $10200 .. 12 bids

In August 2020, it was listed on Craigslist (Salem OR) for $16500, and was featured on the Hagerty Media Website ... https://www.hagerty.com/media/buyin...ational-ambulette-is-not-for-the-introverted/, which should have garnered a lot of interest in the vehicle, but I can only assume that it wasn't enough to attract a buyer.

Now it is back on the Salem OR Craigslist for $10500, or as Chris has said, "$300 more". https://salem.craigslist.org/cto/d/salem-1955-ford-courier-wagon-ambulance/7301112874.html .

This is a beautiful car, and it will fit into your garage with ease, unlike some of the larger ambulances that come up for sale.. I am surprised that it hasn't already sold. If this had been available 2 or 3 years ago, it would have sold immediately, since the economy was stronger, and the fear of Covid19 was unknown.

John ED Renstrom

PCS Member - Elected Director 2019-2022
Super Site Supporter
How many down payments has he collected? Just strange that he has not excepted any offer in all those postings. Makes you wonder if the car is just a picture.